There have been a lot of myths about organ donation. We want to ensure that you make an informed choice so we’ve provided answers to some commonly asked questions that directly address both the myths and facts about organ donation.
Q. Who can be an organ donor?
A. All adults in the U.S. can register to become an organ donor. While in some states those under 18 can register, authorization by a parent or guardian is usually necessary to become an actual donor. Newborns to senior citizens have become organ donors.
Q. Can only healthy people become organ donors?
A. Anyone can be an organ and tissue donor regardless of previous illness. Organ donation is not based on age or pre-existing illness but rather on your psychical condition and that of your organs at the time of death.
Q. If I register as a donor, will it affect the medical care I receive at the hospital?
A. Absolutely not. The medical staff providing you care and trying to save your life is separate from the transplant team. Every effort is made to save your life before donation even becomes a possibility.
Q. Is the medical cost associated with donating an organ billed to my family?
A. No. Your family pays for your medical care and funeral costs, but not for organ donation. Costs related to donation are paid by the recipient usually through insurance.
Q. If I register to become an organ donor, can I change my mind and opt-out later?
A. Yes. You can remove yourself from registered donors list at any time. You can update your status if you register on your state’s site. If you register at the DMV, you will need to update your license at your local motor vehicle office.
Q. How does organ donation actually work?
A. The U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation’s website provides a great overview of how the donation process actually works including deceased and living donation options. Learn more on their website’s FAQ section.